Sun | Jan 24, 2021

On the Corner | Fletcher's Land residents push for unity at Christmas

Published:Friday | December 21, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
Stephan Green (second left) sharing his memories of Christmas past and his hopes for the ones to come during a Gleaner RISE/Life Management on the Corner with Unattached Youth forum on Diplomats' Corner in Fletcher's Land last Thursday.

For decades, Christmas in west Kingston community of Fletcher's Land brought out the best in neighbours. There was cooking and the sharing of meals with anyone who asked, parties, street dances, and just fun for everyone.

In recent years, there has been a shift in this tradition with more and more residents celebrating in private, while the police have put a clampdown on the street dances.

But in the section of the community dubbed 'Diplomats' Corner', a group of young residents told a Gleaner RISE/Life Management on the Corner with Unattached Youth forum last week that they are determined to keep the best traditions alive.

"To be honest, right now is not all of Fletcher's Land a keep it up. Cooking and sharing like that on Christmas Day is only happening in some parts of the community, like right here," said Stephan Green.

Pointing to the changing times which have impacted how the community members interact with each other, Grant bemoaned said that it was unfortunate that at a time when it is most needed, some people cannot find the love to open up their lives and homes to others.

"Is just love, unity and order for 2019 on Diplomats' Corner. We not giving up on the tradition because a it mek we," said Green.

He said that on Christmas Day community member can come and go to any yard where there is food cooking and get a meal as part of the fun and family time which is being promoted.

"Everybody on this corner united and we not warring each other, and so, is one thing we really want now is for some party and we good. You see what I'm saying me boss," the fifth-form Holy Trinity High School student said.

Fellow resident Carlton Powell, the oldest member resident in the group, told the forum that even with the changes, they are determined to remain being true to what had made Fletcher's Land a 'model community' in the not-too-distant past.

"This community was at one time a model for all of Kingston. I am sure the residents would love to restore that. But it will take some time and lots of commitment and effort. But for this Christmas at least, we will enjoy each other company, the real old-fashioned way," said Powell.